Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) is guided by the quest for strategies of how to live and better inhabit this world together. It is a house in which cultures of conviviality and hospitality are sown, nurtured to blossoming, and disseminated. It is a physical and affective space in which everyone has the possibility of breathing. To breathe and let breathe. A house in which respect for living and non-living beings is fundamental and shapes our understanding of cultures.
HKW highlights the notion of ‘Welt’ in its name. It proposes concepts of the world that embrace pluralities of cultures, epistemologies, sociopolitics, spiritualities, and ways of being in the world. This plurality of ‘worlds’ manifests itself in the deliberations on and acknowledgement of the malleability and processuality of the worlds we have historically shaped and continue to shape. The world is not a noun, but a verb: to unworld, to world, and to reworld.
Berlin is host to citizens from 170 nations from around the world, and these people and their communities are fundamental in shaping HKW, not as subjects or visitors only, but as fellow travellers and co-makers of the programme. The programme is anchored around migrant-situated knowledges and the realities of the plethora of beings and histories that constitute our worlds today. The task at hand is to make HKW a house of multiplicities and international encounters. These cultures are lived and experienced rather than othered, or merely displayed.
In an era in which humanity is questioned, put to the test, and negated around the world through the perpetration of varying forms of injustice, HKW adopts the emancipatory maxim of the Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) Tout Moun Se Moun to emphasize the spirit in which we work. It proclaims that every person is a human being, that we are all equal before the law, and that no human life is more important than another. Also embedded in Tout Moun Se Moun is the acknowledgement of the worlds of animal, plant, fungi, single and multicellular species, as well as non-living species that, too, are entitled to their spaces and co-existence in our world.
In, around, and associated with Haus der Kulturen der Welt there is no space for, nor tolerance towards, hate speech or hate actions of any kind. There is no space for ageism, anti-Semitism, gender discrimination, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism, sexism, transphobia, xenophobia, and the like. HKW shall be a space in which love, respect, and generosity are realized through daily practice.